SportsUAAP: La Salle clinches playoff berth at the expense of UST
UAAP: La Salle clinches playoff berth at the expense of UST

The DLSU Lady Spikers prevailed over the UST Golden Tigresses in straight sets, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22, earlier today at the FilOil Flying V Centre. La Salle improved its win-loss card to 10-2 for the season.

Kim Kianna Dy had 12 points behind eight attacks and four blocks in the winning effort. Meanwhile, Sisi Rondina exploded for 23 points from 21 attacks and 11 excellent digs, despite being eliminated from playoff contention after to their five-set loss against Ateneo.

With only two games remaining in the elimination round, against AdU and ADMU, coach Ramil de Jesus looks to remain aggressive in preparation for the playoffs. With the win, DLSU became the first team to secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the season.


Evenly matched

UST gained an early advantage over La Salle early in the opening set. Back-to-back offensive errors from Tin Tiamzon resulted to an 8-5 lead for the team from España. The lead continued to balloon behind the efforts of Rondina and Milena Alessandrini. However, DLSU caught fire midway through the set and sparked a five-to-nothing run to take the lead, 16-15.

In response to the surge, Rondina took over for UST as the outside hitter pierced through La Salle’s defense. UST was already in position to secure the first set with a three-point cushion, 23-20, until a collective effort from La Salle ignited another run which left UST hanging, 25-23.

In the second set, the Lasallians asserted themselves and grabbed an early 8-3 lead. Reigning MVP Majoy Baron and Dy found their rhythm early-on with the hopes of gaining a 2-0 lead. Despite the strong start, the Tigresses eventually tied the game at 19 apiece due to effective combination plays set out by Alina Bicar. Service errors from La Salle kept UST afloat but La Salle’s defense became a huge factor in closing out the Tigresses. A block from Dy against Rondina paved way to another 25-23 end.



Strong finish

DLSU showed its experience as a champion team as they kept Rondina and Alessandrini in check and forced several errors to the Golden Tigresses early on. Despite trading points at the beginning of the set, the Lasallians were able to get into the first technical timeout with a five-point lead, 8-3.

Nonetheless, Alessandrini went out of her way by providing UST with two consecutive points coming from both the defensive and offensive end as she scored her third kill block of the game. At the same time, Rondina backed up her fellow Thomasian by showing her prowess in the court as she was able to score a spike over two blockers of La Salle.

The team from Taft did not waver, however, as it continued to press UST to commit numerous errors that gave the Green-and-White the momentum to get back into the game. De Jesus then started to substitute several players that proved to be an important factor to DLSU’s win in the third set. As May Luna went in and replaced Tiamzon, the former immediately scored two attack points for the team. In addition, as De Jesus placed Norielle Ipac in the court, and the Lady Spiker instantly scored a spike for the team as well.

In spite of Christine Francisco and Rondina’s effort to trim the deficit, which went as far as just a point behind DLSU, a kill block from Dy and a spike from Luna gave the team from Taft their tenth win of the season.

The Lady Spikers will face the AdU Lady Falcons for their second to the last match in the second round of the tournament this Wednesday, April 11, at 2 pm at the same venue.


The scores:

DLSU (3) – Dy 12, Baron 9, Ogunsanya 8, Cheng 5, Luna 5, Tiamzon 4, Cobb 3, Tiu 1, Ipac 1, Layug 0, Saga 0, Macandili 0

UST (0) – Rondina 23, Alessandrini 10, Francisco 6, Palec 4, Viray 3, Dizon 1, Teope 0, Sandoval 0, Rivera 0, Pollentes 0